Creating Value Through User Experience: Finding the sweet spot

Gabriel Guevara
By Gabriel Guevara

With the increased interest in user experience in the last few years, and the huge amount of information so readily available, it is easy to get mixed-up when defining what we should aim for when designing for our users. 

Do we want to focus on building that ONE thing that we know some users will love? Or do we want to create an army knife of digital products that will solve as many needs for as many users as possible? 

Do we want to make things so easy to use, to the point where they feel playful? or do we want our users to go on a quest that will spark that feeling of accomplishment? 

Where do we place our efforts, resources and our hard-earned cash? What is valuable to our users?

The User Experience Honeycomb is a tool created by designer and information architect Peter Morville, that moves the conversation beyond usability and helps Designers and Product Owners align and define priorities. Focusing on all of these allows us to find the sweet spot between the various areas of a good user experience.

The diagram depicts the 6 specific facets of value, taking into consideration how people use, think and feel about a product. Each of the facets can be defined as such:

  1. Useful: A product or service needs to fill a need.
    If the product is not allowing users to perform the tasks that they need then there is no real purpose for the product itself. Our job is to apply our knowledge and craft to define innovative solutions that make products useful.
  2. Usable: It needs to be simple and easy to use.
    Products and systems should be designed in a way that is relatable and easy to understand. The more a user has to know and learn in order to use our product, the less usable it is.
  3. Findable: Information should be clearly structured and easy to navigate. If users can’t find what they need, we are not creating value.
  4. Credible: Do users believe what we tell them? Is the information designed and presented in a way that makes our organization look trustworthy?
  5. Accessible: How does our system or product work for people with disabilities? A good user experience should be accessible to everyone, regardless of physical or educational limitations.
  6. Desirable: Our product should be attractive. There should be as much emphasis on images, typography, and identity as on the other aspects. We should strive to create an emotional connection with our users through the value of design.

Peter Morville’s honeycomb helps bring aspects beyond usability to the table and allows us to design well-rounded products that add value to our users. A good balance between the 6 components will help ensure that we can connect with our users in more than one way and hit that honey-sweet spot of value.